Employment Law

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I am a recent hire as a director in a hospital. Another

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I am a recent...

I am a recent hire as a director in a hospital. Another director was given my position but leadership decided to hire me instead and return her to her former position. She has a very strong personality and wants my position. She bullies me and I feel threatened. One individual is out on stress leave because of being subjected to this individual. Other staff have also complained. The executive team was concerned prior to my hire about whether I could handle this individual. The organization keeps her on because she is "smart and loyal". I move to CA for this position. I rented out my home in CO and have a one-year lease on my home in CA. I feel stuck. My boss has not been helpful. She told me she would move me away from this individual and would deal with her. But, she brought us together yesterday and my boss was supportive of the other director. I'm out a great deal of money in making this move and I feel stuck. Do I go to HR?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

California

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

At will

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

No. Basically that is it - but I feel

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
9/26/2017
Employment Lawyer: legalgems, Lawyer replied 8 months ago
legalgems
legalgems, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,017
Experience: Just Answer consultant at Self employed
Verified

Hello! I will be reviewing your question and posting a response momentarily; if you have any follow up questions please respond here. Thanks!

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Employment Lawyer: legalgems, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

I am sorry to hear this, especially after making such a significant life change.

Unfortunately legally there is not much that can be done; That is because CA does not protect employees from a hostile work environment unless it is due to protected status (i.e. race, religion, national origin, gender, disability). It is defined as repeated, health harming mistreatment that includes verbal attacks, intimidation, humiliation, and interference with one's work.

Workplace harassment encompasses more groups than the ones protected under the Fair Employment Act; but it generally requires abusive behavior due to medical condition, age, etc.

Here is some information based on how the employer is supposed to investigate/deal with such issues:

https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2017/06/DFEH-Workplace-Harassment-Guide.pdf

Even if the employee is not a protected class, the conduct may still be defined as abusive - which is defined as malicious behavior including repeated use of derogatory remarks, insults, verbal or physical conduct that a “reasonable person” would interpret as “threatening, intimidating or humiliating".

That is an HR issue where the department will typically investigate and separate the employees, offer performance coaching to the party violating company policy, terminate based on breach of contract (company regulations) etc.

Many HR departments will work with the employee that is experiencing bullying because it can lead to additional costs such as high turn over, leave of absence, litigation, etc;

but unless there is a protected category it is not per se actionable.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Happy to speak in person although I am in meetings this am until 11 am
Employment Lawyer: legalgems, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

I believe you are referencing the auto generated phone call request and I don't participate in that service but I'd be happy to assist you on this page if you have further questions?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
We can try chat - I see it costs a bit more to talk.
Employment Lawyer: legalgems, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Yes, this is the chat format;

and there is a charge for phone calls but another professional would need to fulfill that request if you were interested because I don't participate in that premium service.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I'm ok to continue with chat
Employment Lawyer: legalgems, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Great; what were your follow up questions?

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Employment Lawyer: legalgems, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Did you have any other questions on the above?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
no recourse. I am forced to work in this environment- best approach would be to talk with my boss and reach an agreement for me to leave and be made whole financially- which is unlikely. I cannot take a leave of absence due to stress until I have been here a year, correct? I am tearful at work, I am throwing up, can't eat, can't sleep, hyperventilating etc
Employment Lawyer: legalgems, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Unfortunately FLMA requires employment for one year; another option is SDI or worker's compensation. One may argue breach of contract but that is difficult since the employment contract is at will; however, if the employee can prove the employer violated the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing (implied in every contract) by allowing the conditions to continue despite ongoing (multiple) employee complaints.

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Employment Lawyer: legalgems, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Hello again; just checking in to see how things worked out;

If you have no further questions a positive rating is most appreciated (at no additional cost to you) and allows the site to credit my account for the time spent assisting you!

if you have further questions please don't hesitate to reach out to me here on Just Answerand I will do my best to get you the requested information.
Thanks!

The above information is for educational purposes only. A consultation with a private attorney is recommended so they can apply the law to your specific facts, and suggest the best course of action. An attorney can be located here:
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